January 22, 2023

The Problem with Bulk AKA Cheap Web Hosting

Experiences With Web Hosting For My Clients

Being that I am involved behind the scenes with others people's websites (through my concierge web hosting as well as personal projects), I deal with a lot of different web hosts.

This gives me a decent view of things as far as hosting goes.

Also, if you are wondering, yes I have my own opinions. Much of this is my opinion.  It is based on my and clients experiences, but it is my opinion.  Please take that as part of your considerations when reading below. 

As with all things on the internet, everybody has opinions. And, everybody has different experiences. All I can do is share my experiences. 

Most recommendations from websites and people on the internet unfortunately recommend hosting companies primarily based on who pays them the most commission as an affiliate. It is why you see so many bloggers who have recommended Bluehost. Bluehost is known to pay out pretty well.  Well, Bluehost is....

Cheap Hosting

Bluehost

Bluehost is a bulk, commodity web hosting. Some clients that hosted with Bluehost experience uptime issues.  One of these was a client that saw his site periodically go down - a lot. Yes, most of the time, the site worked fine. However, it experienced regular outages to the point where he came to ignore them. He knew that when the site went down, it would go back up again. It had nothing to do with any problem with his site.

Cheap hosting servers on racks in a large computer server farm.

Cheap Hosting Servers on racks in a large computer server farm.

This site didn't even get that much traffic. So, this was not a site load issue. This issue was it was on a shared server with a bunch of other people. The infrastructure he was hosted on was just being bombarded under the load of a ton of other websites. There's nothing he can do about it - except for leave to a different host. So this cheap web hosting company is probably not worth it.

GoDaddy

Terrible... yes this is my opinion. One of my clients on GoDaddy was unable to even build a website without having to pay more just to access WordPress.  The website builder they provide with their hosting is terrible to the point of being unusable.  This client had the expectation of cheap web hosting, being well... cheap, but thought he would at least be able to use it.  Unfortunately he had to pay up-charges beyond just the hosting in order to access WordPress. GoDaddy, it was not nearly as "cheap" as he thought it was going to be. When I moved him over to Cloudways, all the problems went away and he had WordPress with no additional cost.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting has a habit of internally migrating websites.  I assume it is to balance their services but it often causes sites to go down for upwards of a full day.  That is just unacceptable and can cause a lot of problems for people.

SiteGround

One of the best cheap web hosting companies, I've found. But, not perfect. I used this for some of my early personal WordPress sites.  While it has been years since I used them for my personal sites I have had clients use it.  SiteGround can be one of the faster bulk hosts, however I still find many of their sites load very slow.  They would be happy to upsell some more resources to keep your site running.  However, if you don't pony up for more resources they will just shut your site down until you are under your allotted limits again.

Now, this isn't just about me naming different companies.

I'd like to offer a few general observations here...

While it may be tempting to go for a bulk or cheap web hosting plans, there are some serious problems and hidden costs associated with these types of providers that you should know about before making your decision.

  • The first issue with bulk or cheap web hosting providers is that they often overcrowd their servers with too many websites. This can lead to slow loading times and poor website performance, which can cause a host of problems for your visitors, including high bounce rates and lost sales. Additionally, if your website is slow to load, it will likely be penalized by search engines, resulting in a lower search engine ranking. Check your websites speed here: Page Speed Insights.
  • Another problem with bulk or cheap web hosting is that they often provide limited customer support. If you run into a problem with your website, you may have to wait hours or even days to get a response from their support team, if they even have one. Furthermore, their support team may not be well-trained, resulting in poor quality assistance. This can be especially problematic if you're not technically savvy and need help troubleshooting an  issue.
  • Additionally, many bulk or cheap web hosting providers use shared IP addresses, which means that your website shares an IP address with other websites. This can lead to security issues, as if another website on the same IP address gets hacked, your website may be compromised as well. Furthermore, a shared IP address can lead to email deliverability issues as if another website on the same IP address is sending spam, your email may be marked as spam as well.
Shady salesman offering something cheap to lure in customers
  • Lastly, many bulk or cheap web hosting providers offer cheap web hosting deals upfront, but then charge extra fees for features like backups, SSL certificates, and domain privacy. These costs can add up quickly and end up costing you more in the long run than a more expensive hosting option that includes these features as standard. A lot of people end up feeling like the REAL price is too expensive.  Site Ground and most of the other bulk host will hook you with some cheap intro rate, but the real price is much higher.

What Hosting should you use?

I use Cloudways for my own hosting, and recommend Cloudways for all of my clients and anyone else really.

I definitely don't recommend Cloudways for the commission. Yes, I make an affiliate commission when people sign up via my link, however I would likely make a lot more if I recommended some consumer, bulk host such as Bluehost. But, those companies are better at marketing than hosting. They're counting on people to get locked in and afraid to move their hosting either due to the fear or the hassle of moving a site.

With Cloudways you just pay monthly for the kind of hosting you want. No cheap pre-paid periods only to get you sucked into something much more expensive later.

With Cloudways, you're on a virtual private server (or VPS) 🖧. This means you get far more storage, more resources than most shared hosting. You're not sharing those resources with others.

And being a VPS, your are not locked into anything or any proprietary site builder. They don't ban certain plugins. They don't inject a bunch of junk into your WordPress admin panel. It is just good, clean hosting.

Cloudways has a really nice user friendly interface to manage your site. It makes the otherwise tedious experience 🤓of managing a VPS into a very user-friendly thing. You won't find any cPanel junk here.

The big difference is that Cloudways is not an "all-in-one" host where you can buy domains through them, host your email, etc. They have add-ons if you want it, but they just do hosting. Which is why they're good at it.

So, that's my overview and opinions of web hosting these days, from the perspective of a person who builds manages websites across a lot of different companies.

Summary

In summary, while bulk or cheap web hosting may seem like a great deal initially, it's important to consider the potential problems and hidden costs associated with these types of providers before making your decision. It's best to invest in a web hosting provider that offers good performance, excellent customer support, and a range of features that will help you grow your website and business. So is the cheap hosting plan really worth it?


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